Butterflied roast chicken with leek

Do you feel like chicken tonight?

  • 1 hr 55 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
  • Print
Butterfly your chicken so it cooks a little quicker and serve with roasted potato and lovely leek for a tasty and fragrant midweek meal idea.


  • 1.5 kg sebago potatoes, cut into large pieces
  • ¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
  • 100 butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
  • 2 x 1.8kg whole chickens
  • 4 small leeks (1kg), trimmed
  • 2 cloves garlic, bruised
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup (250ml) chicken stock
Gremolata dressing
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cornichons
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F.
  • 2
    Place potatoes in a saucepan of salted cold water over high heat; bring to the boil. Boil, covered, for 10 minutes or until just tender. Drain in a colander; toss lightly to rough the edges. Toss potatoes in a large shallow baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the oil; season well. Roast for 20 minutes.
  • 3
    Combine butter, parsley, thyme leaves and rind in a bowl; season.
  • 4
    To butterfly chickens, cut along either side of backbones with kitchen scissors; discard backbones. Open chickens out; press firmly on breast to flatten. Tuck wing tips under body. Carefully loosen skin of chickens over the breasts. Push the butter mixture between the skin and the breast and over the drumsticks and thighs. Place chickens on a large oven tray (or two small oven trays). Roast chickens on separate shelf with potatoes for a further 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are golden brown. Reserve one chicken and 2 cups (280g) coarsely chopped potatoes for Recipe 2, page 215; cover, refrigerate.
  • 5
    Meanwhile, place leeks in a small baking dish with garlic, thyme sprigs and remaining oil; season. Drizzle with stock; cover tray with foil. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove foil; roast a further 10 minutes or until golden and tender. Reserve one leek for Recipe 2; transfer to a plate, cover, refrigerate. Halve remaining leeks lengthways.
  • 6
    Meanwhile, make gremolata dressing. Combine ingredients in a bowl; season.
  • 7
    Serve chicken with potatoes, leeks and gremolata dressing.
    gremolata dressing.


This recipe is not suitable to freeze.

More From Women's Weekly Food